Speculations were rife as to how Delhi will benefit from this year's Railway Budget and whether it would fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's policy of 'Sabka saath, Sabka vikas'. And as the day drew to a close, 'Prabhu' smiled on the national capital with it getting a major share of the Railway Budget pie in terms of financial allocation.
Opening his box of goodies on Thursday, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu allocated Rs 159 crore for upgradation of passenger amenities at its four major stations and satellite terminals.
The allocation is almost double of what Delhi got last time round. Last year, the allocation stood at mere Rs 84 crore in the name of passenger amenities.
Similarly, for augmenting of traffic operations and other logistics, the budget allocation this year has been Rs 84 crore as against Rs 32 crore given last year. Delhi, being the transit point for both East and West corridors, also benefitted by grabbing Rs 40 crore under the mechanical project category as compared to last year when it received just Rs 15 crore for the same. According to Northern Railway sources, a road overbridge has also been allocated to the National Capital and extra funds for upgradation of Sarai Rohilla station is also a likelyhood.
Besides these, Delhi also benefitted on string of passenger amenities. From escalators to wi-fI, to water vending machines to coin-operated ticket machines for unreserved passengers and upgradation of retiring rooms, Prabhu left no stone unturned to please Delhiites.
Delhi will also take up a project for introducing on-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains. In a bid to woo people from North-East living in Delhi and NCR, Prabhu also announced a new Delhi-Meghalaya direct train link, which will help cut the travelling time.
A mobile application is also being developed to redress railway-related complaints and Delhi will be the first one to start it. "We intend to start this facility on a pilot project basis on the Northern Railway line from March 1. After recieving feedback from passengers, this will be extended to all other railways soon," a senior NR official said.
FULL COVERAGE:Union Budget 2015
RAILWAYS GIFT TO THE CAPITAL
>> Rs 159 crore allocated for upgrading passenger amenities at its four major stations and satellite terminals
>> Rs 84 crore for augmenting of traffic operations and other logistics
>> Rs 40 crore allocated for mechanical projects
>> Upgradation of Sarai Rohilla station likely
>> NewDelhi-Meghalaya direct train link to help passengers from the North-east living in Delhi and NCR
>> Mobile application to redress Railway-related complaints
>> Passenger amenities such as escalators,Wi-fi,water vending machines,coin-operated ticket machines for unreserved passengers,upgraded retiring rooms and e-catering